To acquaint our readers with many of the GOP freshmen in the House, we are conducting interviews with them and providing you with insights into what they hope to accomplish in Washington. This interview was conducted with Jeff Landry, who will be representing southeastern Louisiana, a part of our nation that has a number of jobs in the oil and gas industry, in fishing, and in agriculture.

Mr. Landry is an attorney who owns a small business in Louisiana. He served in Desert Storm; he left the military with the rank of sergeant. Mr. Landry and his wife Sharon live in New Iberia with their son.

What follows is Right Pundits’ interview with Congressman-elect Landry as part of our interview series with the incoming GOP Freshman Class of 2011.


RP: What issues in the campaign do you think connected most with the voters in your district?

Jeff Landry: The issues of jobs and the economy were important to the southeastern part of Louisiana as it was to the nation as a whole. The problems with the Gulf this summer have caused a lot of problems for the commercial fishing industry in the region. It needs to be brought back up to its feet again. As well, the fishing industry has to have a level playing field with foreign harvested seafood that isn’t required to maintain the same safety criteria; regulations in this nation have created a disparity in competition.


RP: What 2 or 3 specific goals are you most interested in seeing accomplished this term?

Jeff Landry: First, to get the economy back on its feet, in southeast Louisiana, in Louisiana, and across the nation. That is my number one goal, to get unemployment rates moving downward and get people back to work. Second, I want to make substantial cuts in the budget and in the deficit, to rein in the out of control spending over the last four years. Third, I would like the United States to get back on a path to respect the states, to respect the constitution, and allow our government to grant more liberty and freedom to people so that we have economic freedom and start businesses and have economic opportunities without class warfare.


RP: How hopeful are you that you and the new Republican majority will be able to accomplish these goals?

Jeff Landry: People need to realize that we have taken a very large step in the right direction but we’re not there yet. I think that the new Republican majority in the House is going to have a tremendous impact. I believe that this freshman class is a very unique class. I personally have never observed a group of people, this large, that is moving in unison. Their ideology and their means to an end all seem to match so I think we have the opportunity. But to achieve these goals it’s going to take the Senate, which is controlled by the Democrats, and, of course, this administration to move in a direction that is positive for this country. If the Senate and the administration work with the Republican majority, then we’ll be successful. If they want to play politics with the people of America, then it’s going to be a tough two years. The American people will recognize that and if they don’t want to work together, the people will replace them to move this country forward.


RP: What committees are you most interested in working on? Why?

Jeff Landry: Speaker Boehner has given the freshmen a great deal of latitude in choosing their committees. He is attempting to get positions on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Currently, Anh Cao represents Louisiana on that committee, but he lost his seat in the November elections. Another committee that interests Landry is the Committee on Natural Resources, which has value because of its oversight of the Department of the Interior and its importance to the Gulf of Mexico and the beautiful, unique terrain in the state.


RP: Has anything about the political culture in Washington, DC surprised you yet?

Jeff Landry: The level of bureaucracy is the most disheartening and shocking thing. After spending several weeks in Washington, you can see how the culture can trap people. My conversations with peers have convinced me that we are cognizant of those pitfalls and have agreed to work with each other to ensure that we don’t.


RP: Nationally, does the GOP’s historic victory in the 2010 midterms give it a mandate from the voters and, if so, what is that mandate?

Jeff Landry: I believe that it does have a mandate and that mandate is to reduce the size of government. Quit spending our money. Washington does not have revenue problems; it has a spending problem. This new class could not have come in strictly because of the GOP, it needed independent voters and Democratic voters who were tired of the direction the Democratic majority was taking us. They spoke loudly by saying we want our Congress to respect the will of the people and to respect the constitution. We’re tired of hearing that we’re broke ,and that whenever we need money, we raise taxes. The American people are telling Congress that ‘we want you to conform to the same fiscal rules that we have to conform to.’


RP: How difficult will it be for the Republican House majority to work with the Democratic Senate majority and President Obama to accomplish national priorities?

Jeff Landry: I don’t think it will be difficult to work with them; the question is whether they want to work with us. If I were in the Senate or if I were President and I was to look at what has happened, it would send a clear signal. The House of Representatives is the people’s house, it is the voice of America. When the people speak in that sheer volume as they did on November 2, you’d think that they’d look back and say evidently, we haven’t got it right. Maybe these people who are coming in have something productive to say. So I don’t think it’s difficult to work with them, the question is whether they want to work with us.


RP: Anything more you want to share with the readers of Rightpundits.com?

Jeff Landry: I would just like to ask them to stay the course, stay active, have patience, but also remain vigilant. The voters have to stay out in front of us to change the course of this nation in the direction it needs to go. If we stay the course, if we remain vigilant, and the Senate doesn’t want to work with us, then there is an opportunity to fix that. If the Administration doesn’t want to work with us, then we have an opportunity to fix that as well. So, please stay involved, be patient, but be vigilant.

RP: thanks for your time, Congressman-elect. Good luck up there.

That wraps up our interview with Congressman-elect Jeff Landry of Louisiana. Stay tuned as Right Pundits interviews the entire GOP Freshman Class of 2011.